Crude oil gains in Asia with API figures awaited

Crude oil gains in Asia with API figures awaited
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 00:06 - Crude edged up in Asia on Tuesday ahead of industry data on inventories expected to set the near-term tone.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery lrose 0.10% to $48.96 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent was last quoted at $51.72 a barrel.

Later on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) will release its estimates of refined product and crude oil stockpiles in the U.S. at the end of last week. The API look will be followed by official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) due to be released on Wednesday, March 22 at 10:30 EDT.

Crude oil inventories are seen up 2.602 million barrels, while gasoline supplies are seen down 2.231 million barrels and distillates expected to show a decline of 1.3 million barrels.

Overnight, crude settled lower on Monday, despite reports that OPEC could extend its deal to cut production with non-members beyond June, while investors continued to fret about the growing levels of U.S. oil production and inventories.

Oil prices rebounded from session lows sustained in early morning trade, after insider sources from within OPEC said Monday, that OPEC oil producers increasingly favour extending its deal to cut oil production beyond June but expressed the need for Russia and other non-members to remain part of the initiative.

"An extension is needed to balance the market," an OPEC delegate said. "Any extension of the cut agreement should be with non-OPEC." Meanwhile, growing U.S. oil production and inventories weighed on sentiment, as investors braced for a fresh batch of U.S. crude inventories data later this week while the number of active U.S. rigs rose for a ninth straight week.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported Friday, its weekly U.S. rig count rose by 14 to 631, it was the ninth straight weekly increase, and fuelled concerns that U.S. shale production could dampen OPEC efforts to combat the supply and demand imbalance in the industry.

© Reuters.

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